Lion Sands is a quintessential African safari icon and River Lodge is its most welcoming gem. It is the ultimate source of rejuvenating wilderness energy and sublime personal service in a setting that defines South African safari. The More family has owned this wilderness haven in the world-renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve for four generations. They are committed to family values, authentic conservation and are constantly pushing the envelope of what a luxury safari means.
On the banks of two great rivers
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is one of the most game-rich regions of the greater Kruger National Park. Nestled as it is on the banks of the Sabie River, River Lodge is in the heart of the action – without leaving the comfort of your opulent suite, you can watch elephant bulls, tossing cool mud over their flanks, or wizened old buffalo lying in muddy pools, their scars and expressions bearing testimony to the trials of a life well-lived in the wild.
Out in the bush, the darkness of the pre-dawn, a famed Sabi-Sand’s lion calls for the last time. A hyaena whoops in cheeky response and then all is briefly quiet. As the eastern sky over the Kruger turns golden-grey, the grey-headed sparrows and crested francolin herald the beginning of a glorious new lowveld day. It’s time to head out into the wild.
Out on dawn drive, the abundance of this wilderness awakens. Packs of wild dog stretch and jog onto the clearings in the hopes of an early breakfast. Herds of elephant feed along the bottle green banks of the river – babies splashing clumsily in the water. Out on the floodplains the prides, weary after a night on the hunt, crowd into the shade of a jacket plum tree as the heat of the morning starts to rise.
The Sabi Sands is famed for its remarkable leopard viewing where these most regal of Africa’s cats can be photographed draped in the boughs of huge marula trees or slinking through the shadows in search of unsuspecting prey.
Time on foot with your skilled ranger and tracker team complete the immersion into the wilderness – just being in this ancient space without the trammels of technology is hugely restorative for the soul.
River Lodge is a sumptuous home away from home. The main lounge and bar offer you a friendly haven of relaxation on cosy sofas with some excellent books. Out on the main deck, you can drift with the gentle breeze on the sumptuous sofas.
River Lodge offers an exceptional Africology spa experience where bespoke massage and beauty treatments are enhanced by the complete tranquillity of the Sabi Sands. The signature Soul of African Massage is the ultimate in extravagant restorative relaxation.
Cuisines at River Lodge is mouth-watering and African in the most intimate and picturesque settings. The unpretentious gastromomic delights are served in the privacy of your suite deck or suspended by the deep blue African sky in sanctity of the bush.
There are 20 capacious suites at River Lodge – some settled into the banks of the Sabie River and others embedded in the iconic Kruger bushveld. Lavish bedrooms and opulent open plan bathrooms look out over the luxuriant river banks where bushbuck pluck tasty morsels or into the woodland where warthogs forage in blissful peace. The vast and beautifully appointed lounges give you the space to unwind and contemplate the creatures you’ve seen and photographed. The wooden decks flow seamlessly into the wild – the perfect space to while away the midday, your favourite cocktail at your side, the birds and insects singing songs of tranquillity.
The ultimate night time experience at River Lodge is a night in one of the simplistically sophisticated tree houses. The treehouses are havens under the stars set high above the ground in amongst the trees – completely safe from the animals of the night. You’ll sleep in four poster luxury and freshen up in the seclusion of a suspended, open-air bathroom. Your ranger will drop you off at dusk and leave you with a sumptuous picnic of delectable tapas and fresh snacks. The next time you see him will be with a fresh cup of coffee as the dawn begins to break to the east over the river.
How to get there
The quickest way to get to River Lodge is on the twice daily flights from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport or the daily flight from Cape Town International to Skukuza in the heart of the Kruger National Park. From this picturesque little airport, it is a short and scenic drive to lodge.
If you are more adventurous, then RiverLodge is an easy six hour drive from Johannesburg and if you don’t feel like driving yourself, Iconic Africa will organise a comfortable and safe road transfer.
If you are coming from another property, we will organise a private air charter or road transfer for you straight onto the Lion Sands airstrip.
Iconic Africa enjoys an excellent relationship with the pioneering More family – fourth generation owners of Lion Sands. Our expert consultants complete access to fantastic rates and availability. We recommend combining you ultimate luxury safari experience with a trip to cosmopolitan Cape Town – one of the world’s most beautiful, a tour of the Cape’s breath-taking winelands or even a voyage to one of the untouched islands floating in the tranquillity of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique.
One of our specialist consultants is standing by to help create the safari holiday of a lifetime for you and your family.
Iconic Africa acclaims the Sabi Sands Game Reserve as the premier game viewing destination in South Africa. River Camp offers an indulgent and personal safari experience in the abundance of the greater Kruger National Park – steeped in history, authentic family values and uncompromising luxury.
One of Iconic Africa’s dedicated safari experts is waiting to design your ultimate safari holiday.